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Sep 29, 201411:49 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Intrepid Koch-head offends Madison’s left on Willy Street

(page 1 of 2)

It was an encounter of the Third or Fourth Kind. An irascible conservative, self-confessed gun nut, and Walker supporter (all in the same corpus) appeared at a liberal-progressive-socialist gabfest on Madison’s Willy Street Friday night like a job recruiter at an Occupy demonstration.

He settled in amongst the Believers who came to hear ghost stories around the rhetorical campfire and listen to State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, former abortion rights lobbyist for NARAL, conjure the evils of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Next to the Koch Brothers, ALEC is the left’s favorite hobgoblin.

I saw Taylor’s talk advertised by Dane County’s Progressive Voice, which faithfully advances every leftist picnic, protest, and illegal Occupation to the exclusion of dissenting voices in the Emerald City’s political monoculture. (The corporation has that First Amendment freedom.)

Rep. Chris Taylor

Some two-dozen Blue Fisters were seated around a large room at the ancient storefront of 911 Williamson St., just down the street from Madison Teachers Inc. headquarters. It was called “A Place to Be” and your intrepid blogger was. (The alternative was not to be, one supposes.)

The 45-year-old lawyer, John Nichols once gushed, is “the Legislature’s most ardent defender of the First Amendment rights to speak, to assemble and to petition for the redress of grievances.” This being Madison, the Democrat was twice elected without Republican opposition (one of five to get a free ride) and is unchallenged again this November.

Like Pocan and Baldwin, Taylor wants to geld the First Amendment to prohibit corporations — formed of individuals as they are (“and not polar bears,” as Justice Scalia wrote in Citizens United v. FEC) — from engaging in political speech.*

Despite championing what would be the first amendment to the Bill of Rights in its 223-year history, Rep. Taylor spoke disdainfully about conservative clamors for a constitutional convention that would — horror of horrors! — require the federal government to balance its budget.

Rep. Taylor left unmentioned the topic of pre-dawn raids on private homes by armed deputies to seize computers and cell phones used in the commission of free political speech. I was but one dissenting voice, and I did not want to be accused of disrupting a meeting. (That is their province.)

In “exposing” ALEC, Rep. Taylor said she was continuing the work of her predecessor in the State Assembly, Mark Pocan (now in Congress), who in turn succeeded Tammy Baldwin (now in the U.S. Senate) here in the 76th District. True fact: Taylor got more Democrat votes than any Assembly candidate in 2012. The isthmus really does bleed blue.

I thought it strange that an organization with an active website could be “exposed.” There it is for everyone to see on the home page: “Limited Government · Free Markets · Federalism.” Some conspiracy! It seemed more to me a case of likeminded individuals getting together from the 50 Laboratories of Democracy to share best practices. Those ideas then must rise or fall in the individual states. Besides which, Tommy Thompson taught ALEC about welfare reform and school choice. ALEC had nothing like Walker’s Act 10.

ALEC gives “marching orders” to its members, Rep. Taylor insisted. I queried whether those members did so against their will. Is Glenn Grothman a closet progressive forced to dance to his handler’s tune? She gave me that one but contended that many legislator-members of ALEC are in it for the campaign contributions. Rep. Taylor acknowledged she voted the teachers and labor union line and was rewarded for doing so. (As you can see here.)

Rep. Taylor said ALEC was opposed to alternative energy, a charge ALEC denies (though the group does caution that alternative energy costs consumers more). Interest in solar energy is “exploding.” Your humble squire murmured that so were manure digesters in Dane County. (She told me she opposes fracking. Taylor last session voted against mining for iron in Iron County but sponsors marijuana-legalization legislation, which she calls a job-creation bill.)

Rep. Taylor bemoaned the disappearance of “moderates” in the Republican Party. Heads nodded and the name “Dale Schultz” passed several lips around the room. It did not seem to bother Rep. Taylor that she was no moderate herself. Nor did she express interest in generating more moderates within the Democratic Party.

One earnest woman in the Place to Be could stand it no longer. “What’s wrong with Republicans?” she exclaimed more than asked — since she did not expect any to be in her midst. At this point, your intrepid blogger outed himself. “I’m one of them and I didn’t know something was wrong with me!” (Or something like that.)


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Sep 29, 2014 01:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm missing the part where you aired your view at The Place To Be. I see where you identified your party affiliation (does that go above or below the name your parents gave you?) but where's the part where you respectfully begged to differ? Did you report how you took issue? Begged pardon? Saluted?

Democrats want to pass laws that are in your best interest. Republicans aren't trying to do the same by telling us who we can marry or even have sex with?

You're birds of a feather with that Willy Street crowd, Blaska. The text above makes it clear you think you have all the answers, too.

Sep 29, 2014 03:16 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Progressives are truly mystified why more people don't "take the bait" and end up trapped on the liberal plantation. After all, look what big government has done for the African-American minority. Moved them from a 7% to a 73% illegitimate birth rate to destroy the nuclear family unit and it only took LBJ's Great Society program to do it. But none of this could compare with the Big Brother model of putting Native Americans on reservations, which is what big government is really all about.

According to Progressives, you're not really living until you have free healthcare, free housing and are living on a government stipend. But then you turn to drugs, crime and alcohol as millions have already, trapped in the ghettos and reservations, but voting Democrat to the bitter end. Socialism is suicide, albeit slow, painful suicide.

Sep 29, 2014 04:24 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Aren't companies dropping out of ALEC right and left? They don't want to be associated with the organization. I'm sure you're a member though, right? How about InBusiness? I don't see the ALEC badge show up on this website.

Sep 29, 2014 04:44 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Q. "Aren't companies dropping out of ALEC right and left?"

A. Maybe Left, but not right.

Sep 29, 2014 05:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


you are a total farce.

don't kid yourself, nobody cared that you were even there.

if you truly were.

not sure after reading your posts, if you are capable of telling the truth.

Sep 29, 2014 09:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

How desperate are Progressives to keep people of color trapped on the liberal plantation?
Let's take a look, shall we?

Sep 30, 2014 09:25 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Maybe Left, but not right."
Then it's a pretty significant list of corporations that aren't "right."

One thing even you have to admit about Chris Taylor; she DOES represent her district, as Pocan and Baldwin did before her. And that didn't work out so bad for them, did it? Baldwin winning statewide says more about Wisconsin's values than you the tea drinkers care to admit.

Sep 30, 2014 09:32 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

9:07 - pretty amateurish website (e.g. low credibility) you cite. Darn that mainstream media (ya know, with journalists) for not going along with the whole plantation meme.

Sep 30, 2014 12:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What am I missing here? Blaska is in favor of transparency on the left so he calls our attention to the power wielded by the teachers union and what that hath wrought. Taylor is in favor of transparency on the right, so she calls our attention to what ALEC and Republican legislators are up to and what that hath wrought. Net win for all.

I guess the political types think it's more entertaining when ridicule is introduced to the mix? I don't see how anyone who pays attention to current events for more than 30 seconds in a day could possibly come to that conclusion.

Stop trying to zing the other guy and do something for the common good. Why is this such a revolutionary idea?

Sep 30, 2014 06:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Article makes little sense, and the awkward attempts at humor make it worse. It appears that Dave likes to look at his headshot and read his own words more than engage in meaningful and productive issue conversation. A journalist once said, "When I know I'm hated, I'm still relevant." Probably applies here...except for the journalist part.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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